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Gah… 23 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco.

For whatever reason, the heat is holding off.. it is all around us, in the valley and South and North of here… but a thick marine layer lies over the Bay. Thanks be to Jeebus.


Wandering the netteries I landed on this little stunner at none other than The Guardian. Wonder what boyo’s next step will be.

[T]he Obama administration’s approach has been much more tepid, to say the least. The US financial industry, as expected, is fighting these reforms, but what do we make of a recent quote by President Obama questioning the need for supporting Europe’s proposals. “Why is it,” he asked during a recent interview, “that we’re going to cap executive compensation for Wall Street bankers but not Silicon Valley entrepreneurs or [American] football players?”

Besides the fact that President Obama was wrong – the National Football League does have salary restrictions – Silicon Valley businesses and NFL quarterbacks don’t cause an economic collapse when they screw up. It’s very sobering that, if David Letterman read that quote on his TV show and asked his audience: “Who made this clueless statement, former President Bush or President Obama?” we know what the response would be. Or would have been. . . . . .

And this:

[M]any leaders and supporters are beginning to wonder what is causing this growing gap between the Barack Obama that many people saw on the campaign trail, and the Obama they see in the White House? Beyond Obama’s oratorical skills, which excited not only American voters but people all over the world, he is mostly untested as a politician. His previous experience was only a few years in the US Senate and a few years more as a state senator. A sinking feeling is arising among many that President Obama may not be up to the task, that he may not possess the artful skills needed to accomplish even his own goals. . . . . .

More than a tad generous on the description of his time in the US Senate. He arrived to move on, shall we say, forming the Hope PAC a FEW DAYS after being sworn in in 2005. On a mission.

And this, below, is very true… but you know, I just don’t care any more. This is our political system. No one can claim to be surprised! And the pols, top to bottom with so few exceptions, RELY ON IT. They like it.   Hell!  they LOVE it!… just as they did when it protected slavery. And slave holding states’ votes… and so on.

[B]ut it must be recognised that it’s not just Obama’s shortcomings that are causing the problem. The very structure of the American political system is at the heart of these failures. For example, thwarting Obama on a regular basis is an unrepresentative senate where “minority rule” prevails and undermines what a majority of the country may want. With two senators elected per state, regardless of population, California with more than 35 million people has the same number of senators as Wyoming with just half a million residents. This constitutional arrangement greatly favours low population states, many of which tend to be conservative, producing what one political analyst has called “a weighted vote for small-town whites in pickup trucks with gun racks.” . . . . .

And this is the close… (clap clap clap … just don’t expect much!)

[U]nless Barack Obama is able to demonstrate a better level of political skill than he has shown so far, everyone needs to fasten their seatbelts. The world is about to enter a challenging phase where the US – the undisputed leader of the free world for the past 60 years – is going to rapidly cede its place at the head of the line.

It appears that the wheels may be coming off the world’s post-war leader, and not even Barack Obama can stop it happening.

well, whoops.



1. marisacat - 23 September 2009

At Sully’s. Geesh. Go ahead, elevate him some more.

I swear to god, he had a tanning session and a light blonde rinse before appearing on CBS Tuesday night, with Couric. (Admittedly doughy faced boys need all the help they can get.)

Becked, The New Fisk

While defending the National Endowment of the Arts against the latest GOP broadside, Scott Eric Kaufman coins a new word:

*beck v. trans. beck-ing, beck-ed, to be baselessly attacked by an idiot with a megaphone, then have those accusations alter your life for the worse because it’s politically expedient for your spineless superiors to demote or fire you

2. BooHooHooMan - 23 September 2009

My take?
The Bankster and their Embedded Fraudster Pols and handlers,
looted Pensions and Life Savings World Wide, crashed the markets,
foisted debt servitude upon commoners for generations to come, and are now using the liquefied proceeds to buy out the crushed commoners former market stake.Whole lifetimes of work by billions of people. Global Crisis, financially. STILL.
It’s plunder, merciless plunder.

And When THAT sinks in?
What The Basic Understanding will be?
The Nigger Did It.
Well Played, no? Which isn’t so bad racially 🙄 as it will at least
prompt innovation in the New And Better Nigger Industry.

Pearlstein in WaPo walks us a little more gently down the path..but a sufficient tour nonetheless..

Yes, the financial crisis has passed and the economy is growing again, 🙄 { – it get’s better- } but there’s a good chance that growth will be temporary — the result of one-time events like “Cash for Clunkers,” the tax credit for first-time home buyers and the restocking of inventories allowed to dwindle during last year’s crisis. But with businesses still reducing payrolls, bank lending still contracting, and anxious consumers determined to save more and spend less, ,b>a sustained recovery in 2010 isn’t looking very likely.

Less encouraging is what’s happening on Wall Street. It turns out that all those bold and necessary steps by the Federal Reserve to prevent the financial system from collapsing wound up creating so much liquidity that it has now spawned another financial bubble

Let’s start with the $1.45 trillion that the Fed has committed to propping up the mortgage market — money that, for the most part, was simply printed. Effectively, most of that has been used to buy up bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from investors, who turned around and used the proceeds to buy “safer” U.S. Treasury bonds. At the same time, the Fed used an additional $300 billion to buy Treasurys directly. With all that money pouring into the market, you begin to understand why it is that Treasury prices have risen and interest rates fallen, even at a time when the government is borrowing record amounts of new money.

As it was printing all that money, the Fed was also lowering the interest rate at which banks borrow from the Fed and each other, to pretty close to zero. What didn’t change was the interest rate banks charged everyone else. As a result, “spreads” between what banks pay for money and what they charge are near record highs.

So who is borrowing? By and large, it’s not households and businesses, which are reluctant to borrow during a recession. Rather, it’s hedge funds and other investors, who have been using the money to buy stocks, corporate bonds and commodities, driving prices to levels unsupported by the business and economic fundamentals.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

oh yeah. We got thrown into a crisis…. Plenty of it real, but timing and extent and language accompanying it, designed for pressure.

“Strategy of tension” is a phrase I like, from Italy in the 70s and 80s… when CIA and various undercover post war forces ( Gladio ) threw the country into turmoil.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

hmm Speaking of which… Hedges from Truth Dig:

[T]he draconian security measures put in place to silence dissent in Pittsburgh are disproportionate to any actual security concern. They are a response not to a real threat, but to the fear gripping the established centers of power. The power elite grasps, even if we do not, the massive fraud and theft being undertaken to save a criminal class on Wall Street and international speculators of the kinds who were executed in other periods of human history. They know the awful cost this plundering of state treasuries will impose on workers, who will become a permanent underclass. And they also know that once this is clear to the rest of us, rebellion will no longer be a foreign concept. . . . . .

marisacat - 23 September 2009

hmm more from Hedges

[“T]he best thing that happened to the Establishment is the election of a black president,” Holmes said. “It will contain people for a given period of time, but time is running out. Suppose something else happens? Suppose another straw breaks? What happens when there is a credit card crisis or a collapse in commercial real estate? The financial system is very, very fragile. The legs are being kicked out from underneath it.”

“Obama is in trouble,” Holmes went on. “The economic crisis is a structural crisis. The recovery is only a recovery for Wall Street. It can’t be sustained, and Obama will be blamed for it. He is doing everything Wall Street demands. But this will be a dead end. It is a prescription for disaster, not only for Obama but the Democratic Party.

It is only groups like ours that provide hope. If labor unions will get off their ass and stop focusing on narrow legislation for their members, if they will go back to being social unions that embrace broad causes, we have a chance of effecting change. If this does not happen it will be a right-wing disaster.”

Holmes leads a group, “Bail Out The People Movement”

3. marisacat - 23 September 2009

OK… the Rangel stories are going above the fold… CBS national am news.

4. marisacat - 23 September 2009


Sarko may pull on his elevator shoes and walk out of the G-20… He may!

5. catnip - 23 September 2009

Gadhafi’s on my teevee. Taking face time from Obamalama. He’s entertaining in a rambling man sorta way.

catnip - 23 September 2009

lol..he called Obama a “glimpse in the dark” and hopes he can stay “forever” as prez. Yes he can! Obama should just pitch a tent at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and go for it.

catnip - 23 September 2009

lol…more of Ghadafi’s speech:

‘can I get your attention, can I get your attention?…all of you are tired having jet lag…some of you are from countries where you should be asleep now…’

catnip - 23 September 2009

On the serious side (and Obamalama “let’s move forward” will just scoff and laugh it off, of course), Gadhafi’s calling for the perpetrators of the Iraq war to be tried – calling out the double standards of the UN. (That, after going through the history of some of the 65(?) wars since the UN charter was struck).

Headline: Crazy Guy in Tent Makes Sense

BooHooHooMan - 23 September 2009

Gadhafi’s on my teevee

He may also be on the sofa before the G-20 is over.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

he’s crazy and Ob is dull (that speech today was so bad).

We are so fucking scrweweddd.

6. catnip - 23 September 2009

For whatever reason, the heat is holding off.. it is all around us, in the valley and South and North of here… but a thick marine layer lies over the Bay. Thanks be to Jeebus.

We might be in for the hottest day of the year here today – some 20 degrees above seasonal. Very odd.

7. catnip - 23 September 2009

Howie Kurtz is comparing the leaked McChrystal report to the Pentagon Papers. C’mon now, Howie. Let’s get real.

8. catnip - 23 September 2009

Budget chief contradicts Obama on Medicare costs

WASHINGTON — Congress’ chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama’s oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn’t see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators Tuesday that seniors in Medicare’s managed care plans would see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.

Elmendorf said the changes would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries.

Critics say the plans are overpaid, while supporters say they work well.

Obama says cuts to Medicare providers won’t reduce seniors’ benefits.

$100 billion??

marisacat - 23 September 2009

and those same seniors will get no COLA for two years running… AND see their premiums for coverage go up.

And they vote… and they watch what happens to their benefits like hawks.

9. marisacat - 23 September 2009

Fire up the popcorn machine! Heat the butter…. get the sea salt!

Bill Clinton, Gov. Paterson to appear on “Meet the Press” Sunday.

10. marisacat - 23 September 2009

gah. Stock up on popcorn. Buy popcorn futures. Butter futures. Consider marshmallow roasts as alternative, to break monotony.


That’s Mike Allen’s take on this bit from the new NBC/WSJ poll:

“When it comes to doing his job as president, do you feel that you see and hear President Obama too much, about the right amount, or too little?”

Too much 34%
About the right amount 54%
Too little 9%
Not sure 3%

Given that for some percentage, any Obama is too much, those are pretty good numbers, and they’re likely to encourage those advisors who favor putting the president on television constantly.

catnip - 23 September 2009

“Too little 9%”?

Do those people live in media-free underground bunkers?

marisacat - 23 September 2009

Those who can drink will survive the coming speeches better. he’s going to want to capture that 9%… or the dumb white boys behind him will.

11. marisacat - 23 September 2009


The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word ‘fed” was scrawled on the dead man’s chest.

The body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and occasional teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether the death was a killing or a suicide, and if a killing, whether the motive was related to his government job or to anti-government sentiment.

Investigators have said little about the case. The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, said Wednesday the man was found hanging from a tree and the word “fed” was written on the dead man’s chest. The official did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12. marisacat - 23 September 2009

So… the Sibelius Nanny Mother Governess routine the other day is……………………………….. worthless?

[T]hanks in part to this and other campaigns run by the CDC, it has become conventional wisdom that hand-washing is the best way to protect yourself from the H1N1 strain of influenza. But while hand-washing has been shown to be a great defense against the common cold and other respiratory diseases, it might not actually be that helpful against the influenza virus, including the H1N1 strain.

That’s because there is virtually no evidence that people can catch the influenza virus from germs that they pick up on their hands, according to Arthur Reingold, head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and codirector of the CDC-funded California Emerging Infections Program. Instead, humans are most likely to catch influenza by breathing in microscopic particles exhaled by infected people. . . . . .

Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

science? we don’t need no stinkin’ science.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

So I get home and see that picture up top, and all I can hear in my head is the The O’Jays “Backstabbers”:

They smile in your face …

marisacat - 23 September 2009

yeah his smile is such a dead give away.

what a mess we are in………………………………. 😯

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

Here is something from an interesting review of Michael Moore film:

You see, while it is easy to point at the crazed evangelical ultra-conservatives as the source of the Republican party’s problems, the truth is they’re just the easy target; the loud distraction while the crew cuts in three piece suits repeat over and over that we are a party about freedom (that’s good) and freedom means keeping the government out of our daily life (that’s really good) and keeping the government out of our daily life means letting the financial industry do what they want without oversight (that’s BAD.) In truth, the fundamental core of what a large majority of Republicans believe in is very much rooted in what Moore is talking about. After all, I can name three guys off the top of my head that hated banking, speculation and usury. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Jesus. Not exactly the thinkers most often quoted at liberal cocktail parties. Here Moore refers to them all.

If that segment of the population would see this film and hear Moore’s arguments – while they won’t throw up their arms and embrace socialism – the argument could become just how to go about fixing it again, rather than screaming SOCIALIST! FASCIST! at one another. But Moore commits one, serious, fatal error.

He rails on Reagan, he beats on Bush, he gut punches Clinton, he knocks around Congress…and then he boldly walks up to Obama, says a few harsh words about the financial industry’s attempts to corrupt him – and then walks away. In fact while the film goes into depth about Bush 43’s bailout/stimulus package, it doesn’t mention word one about Obama’s. And that failure gives the powers that be all the ammunition they need to truthfully – and I use that word in the loosest of possible terms – poison the audience who most needs to see it against it.

My parents won’t watch this. They hate Michael Moore. I don’t think they’ve actually watched one of his recent movies – but if Glen Beck tells them Mike kid gloves Obama and takes cheap shots at Reagan (which really, he does – using footage of Reagan from the immortal THE KILLERS, showing the scene in which Reagan slaps Angie Dickinson over Moore discussing Reagan’s treatment of feminists) they’re going to write this off and never see it, regardless of my insistence. I could buy it for them, fly up and put it in the DVD player…and they still wouldn’t watch it.

And the sad part is that there are very few flaws hrer. The film is funny, heartbreaking and ultimately enraging. It makes you want to get up out of your seat and DO SOMETHING. But there is this feeling in liberal-America that the Obama presidency is as delicate as a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, and that by simply breathing on it wrong you could kill it. I saw the same thing earlier this year in Robin Williams’ recent standup comedy tour: scathing material on every president and candidate going back into the 90’s – including a brilliant set on Cheney, with only hoots and celebratory high fives about Obama. It’s enough – especially in this day and age – to sour the whole message.

And here the message is so profound it hurts. Moore shows us EXACTLY how we’re all being fucked, and then asks us all to stand up and do something about it. We have not had this much populist rage in a LONG time. Look at the 9/12 protest signs; really look at them. These aren’t people pissed at liberals. These are people pissed at those in power. They’ve just been focused like a laser against liberals. Imagine that rage turned against the guys who actually did all this rather than against the guy who hasn’t done much at all – for better or for worse.

If the Michael Moore I grew up watching had shown up to make this movie – ALL OF THIS MOVIE – this could have been one of the most powerful pieces of media of our time. Instead, it will be remembered as another great sermon delivered to the choir who will nod along, occasionally shout Hallelujah! and ultimately go back to watching cable news figureheads shout at one another.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

Terry Moran had a pretty good interview with MM…. and did ask about leaving Ob alone, pretty much. MM punted… clear not just by the close of making the movie but also by the time of the interview, he still has hopes for Ob. HIS version is that better to hve the intelligent man or woman in office and work to make them do the right thing. Etc., Yada. Etc., Yada. That he does ask Ob in the movie to know that he/MM (and I presume the legions)… knows that Ob’s biggest contributor is G-Saxe. Etc Yada,

That may also be CW for keeping the audience paying to see the movie. I mean if MM says Ob will do shit… why bother to see the movie? Go home and consult the meager savings in the mattress….

Ad so on.

When I was a child and used to see, in old fashioned Catholic towns like New Orleans and St Louis, boxes inside churches with a slot for pushing money in, For The Poor… so the boxes said, it never occurred to me that the money would ever ever ever reach the poor.

I mean, Come On!!!

Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

It’s too bad that he stepped away from Nader and the very real truth that there is little difference.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

ugh. Did yo happen to catch Nader on with Amy? I forgot to post it yesterday. I think he has LSOT HIS FUCKING MIND.

He has a new book out, sort of non fiction fiction. That only the super rich can save us (he claims the source for the idea came from a woman speaking to Buffett – think it was – when he took truck loads of material to NO in the wake of Katrina). And he uses well worn characters, from Peter Lewis to Yoko Ono to the Rappaports. And he presented this to Amy as not satire.

I wanted to punch something. Break something.

Will hunt it up and post it.

ALL of the people he uses in his book, by name, have just slid on by… sure, some loud charity… and some very quiet charity.. but charity will never be enough. EVER.

Fucking hell.

marisacat - 23 September 2009
Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

so what, only “enlightened self interest” will save us? Some kind of neo noblesse oblige?!?!

Man, that’s depressing.

We’re just so done.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

I’m watching season one of Hustle… a UK series on long arc cons.

You know, ‘cuz that is what is going down.

Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

that’s a fun series.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

I am enjoying it… 😉

CSTAR - 23 September 2009

Bill Gates??? After making billions shoving expensive crappy software down people’s throats? Puhleeez. Or Police. Or something.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009

The Practice of Domination in Everyday Life

The photo appeared on page A8 of the morning edition of the New York Times with this caption:

“Tinderbox In Hebron, a Jewish settler threw wine at a Palestinian woman. The city is a center of tensions between settlers and Palestinians.”


I think that there are at least three reasons for the photograph’s impact.

One is that it reveals what is rarely shown: the small acts of personal viciousness and humiliation that make up the practice of domination in an occupied land. Second, it is clear that both the boy’s aggression and the woman’s protective reaction are often-practiced, habitual responses. Were he taunting an older woman for the first time, he would be likely to look much more ragged, uncoordinated, and either furtive or overly demonstrative. Instead, he could be a figure out of Whitman: throwing his weight around without breaking stride, a figure of youthful grace on the city street. Likewise, she isn’t being caught by surprise. Her head is already turned, her body hunched against the impending blow. She’s been through this before, and she’s learned that direct confrontation is not an option. This may be her neighborhood, but it’s his street.

marisacat - 23 September 2009

I think the NYT also has a pic to day (think that is where I saw it) of Palestinian construction workers, laboring on some of the contested settlements…

It’s endless.

wu ming - 24 September 2009

that’s a beautifully composed shot, in its visceral ugliness.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009
17. brinn - 23 September 2009

Still alive….

Thanks for you, all. If I couldn’t come back for a bit of “sanity” every now and then, I think I might actually “go sane” myself!

Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009


marisacat - 23 September 2009

hellooo brinn!

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2009
marisacat - 23 September 2009

maybe they can sew aprons and kitchen mitts as an activity.

I’ve read Merkel’s husband mostly shines this sort of silliness on.

19. BooHooHooMan - 23 September 2009

Sibel Edmonds, named Feith, Wolfowitz, and Perle as having been picked up on an FBI wiretap speaking to the Turkish Ambassador in the summer of 2001 about US invading Iraq. Summer 2001.

Decent reception on DK, rec listed by popular demand,

Tim Lange stepping in with threat of banning to tamp down even the slightest talk of implications wrt 9/11. The villagers rightly ignoring him.…Still struggling with his issues stemming from his time in a juvenile detention facility..Sad.

Surprising, the overall reception, actually …
I noticed only a few comments whimpering that it was published, in fact on the almost VF/ Plame-esque cover of .. The American Conservative. founded by Buchanan….Another commenter gently reminded them of the AC’s endorsement of KERRY in 04..

marisacat - 23 September 2009

it is always interesting how that place, or a chunk of the people there, pull it off, sometimes.

20. marisacat - 23 September 2009

I guess it is going to air tonight… Charlie Rose taped an interview with Rahm.

Tutus and en pointe!

21. lucid - 23 September 2009

It starts small;
Faces reflected
In shined shoes.

That polish,
A belief in ghosts

The debut
Of the always gauche

And so we
Monkey, opine and

Against our nature,

A sweet dream
In the last vestige
of our mind.


22. BooHooHooMan - 23 September 2009

NJ Gov.

The Kidney Brokers push back..

Tino Fiumara, a made guy , the brother of Christie’s Aunt’s second husband. In and out of jail, no body raps but implicated in murders, now out, Said to be one of the three underbosses currently running the Genovese Family. yeh Yeh. –> and this hurts Christie how?
Not a bit ya ask me. That’s how fucked this state is.

Anyways THIS jumped in the NYT piece by Halbfinger…

Mr. Fiumara was due to be released again in June 2002. But that April, he was indicted again, this time by Mr. Christie’s office on charges of helping Mr. Coppola avoid prosecution. Mr. Christie recused himself. Mr. Fiumara’s lawyers argued that he had already been punished through the parole violation. They sought house arrest, saying incarceration would jeopardize his chances of a kidney transplant. But prosecutors insisted on prison.

Frankly, like I said…Unless they got Christie in the middle of an Organ for Sale transaction, this will HELP Christie…
How it is when money dries up in ethnic politics.

If Corzine’s GSachs’ers push this hard, they’ll lose 10,000 old school Italian votes in North Jersey. Pulling a number out of a hat, but the fact that it identifies “Christie” more as Jersey Italiano will HELP – mobbed up or not – as opposed , for argument’s sake, to being mistaken for an heir of the Old Old Money Auction House.

Fucked up or not, Christie’s biggest electoral liability in this Sinking via Ethnic Politics State, is that he is bleached in with the GOP and all but devoid of a personality. This’ll help add a little color, the color of blood being not unfamiliar here.. People could give a shit about his traffic record. Or Aunt Carmella’s 2nd husband’s brother, Tino the Mobster. Not when their own relatives are pleading for work on Jobster.

marisacat - 24 September 2009

Tino Fiumara, a made guy , the brother of Christie’s Aunt’s second husband. In and out of jail, no body raps but implicated in murders, now out, Said to be one of the three underbosses currently running the Genovese Family. yeh Yeh. –> and this hurts Christie how?

well isn’t Menendez considered some minor godfather. Or related to a godfather. Or whatever the words are. Why would Jersey care if Christie is linked to the Italian mob. It’s a fine Democratic tradition for many decades.

Carry on!

23. marisacat - 24 September 2009



….. 😯 …………..

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